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The How-To Lounge: Writing Wedding Thank-You Notes

Once the wedding is over and you're home from your honeymoon, it's time to get back to normal life and take care of long list of to dos. Hopefully you took note of who gave you what gift because now's the time to write your thank-you notes.

Time is of the essence so to see my dos and don'ts on how to make this process fast and painless,


  • If you didn't order thank-you cards to match your other wedding papery, stick to something that has a similar look. These cards should be on the more formal side.
  • It's best to get your thank-you cards in the mail ASAP, preferably two to three weeks after receiving your gift, and six to eight weeks at the very most.
  • Be sure to hand write your thank-you notes — email does not suffice!
  • Make your thank-you notes personal. Mention the gift you received and be sure to note any special efforts made by that guest, if they traveled a long distance, made a speech, etc.
  • Even if someone didn't attend your wedding but sent a gift, be sure to send them a thank-you note. And remember, wedding thank-you notes should be separate from shower or engagement thank-you notes.
  • Although some think it's the wife's job to write all the thank-you notes, the husband should do his part as well. Always say "we" instead of "I" and be sure to have both signatures on every note.
  • Getting all your thank-you notes written can seem incredibly daunting, but if you set aside a few hours a night, throw on some music and open a bottle of wine — it shouldn't be too painful. Do whatever you can to try to make it as fun as possible!
Join The Conversation
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 9 years
Thanks for the tips!
lawchick lawchick 9 years
zulkey, I think it's just "nice to match" and kind of traditional (though our invitations weren't very formal so I didn't have the dilemma you have)
Zulkey Zulkey 9 years
I don't understand why the stationery needs to match the invitations? Our invitations are very traditional and I'd rather have stationery that's a bit more fun, and frankly that doesn't look like an invitation! But if there is a reason for why this is other than it's just "nice to match" i'm curious to hear it.
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I'm embarrassed to say that I'm still working on my thank you notes and my wedding was in April. I know it's good etiquette to get them out as soon as possible, but ihave to wonder about people who get all ticked off about not getting one in the "proper" amount of time. Maybe I'm just crazy but when I get a couple a wedding gift it's not so I can get a thank you note no more than 8 weeks later, I'm giving it to them because I'm happy they are sharing their lives and I want to say congratulations. In fact whenever I've gone to a wedding I have always forgotten about the thank you card until it shows up in the mail
skigurl skigurl 9 years
i definitely agree, and have mentioned it on here before, that a year is ridiculously long, and i feel like 3 month is also the absolute deadline. i'm glad lawchick saw this published in a book because it makes me feel less crazy to think that a year is way overboard
juliettedawn juliettedawn 9 years
My husband and I were married last October and got the bulk of our thank-yous out before Christmas (the gifts that were late, got later thank-yous). I made him write the thank-yous for his family and I wrote the ones for mine. I received a lot of compliments on the ones I wrote. I used the same basic formula for everyone, then personalized it for each guest. I had to write samples for my husband to follow and he got his done very quickly. All the etiquette books I read said you have six months to a year to get the thank-yous out, but I think even that is too long. I think two or three weeks is too fast, especially if you go on a honeymoon or are moving right after the wedding. I think that six to eight weeks is more feasible.
lawchick lawchick 9 years
ok sorry for the 3rd post, but to clarify, the etiquette book I had said you shouldn't SEND notes with your new monogram until after you are married. so if you receive a gift before the wedding, and send the note with the new monogram after the wedding, that would be fine.
lawchick lawchick 9 years
oh, this didn't apply to me, but everything I read said that if you have cards with your new monogram, you shouldn't use those until after the wedding (in other words, you shouldn't send out cards with your new last name on them for gifts you receive before the wedding). also, I had seperate thank-you notes for shower gifts, just nice but generic "thank you" cards
lawchick lawchick 9 years
it took me three months after the wedding to finish my notes, which I read in an etiquette book was the absolute deadline. I did write some as showers and such went by, but the whole thing took much longer than I anticipated! Especially when six people got together and bought us a really nice gift, and I had to write six thank-you notes that weren't identical! we had stationary (cards) that matched our wedding invitations and had our names on it. I have used extras for thank-you notes and such since then. It was especially good for us b/c I didn't change my name and hoped the cards would tastefully reiterate that.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
i wouldn't use stationary with YOUR new initials - what about your husband's initials?
sass317 sass317 9 years
My grandmother bought me stationary with my new initials on them to use for thank you notes, but I can use them forever, we also had notes that had our names on them that did match our invitations as well. Any of them we can use in the future- honestly I have more stationary than I know what to do with. I did my guests, my husband did his, and I was finished WAY before he was. lol
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
That's a good idea valancyjane!
psychobabble psychobabble 9 years
I've always been entertained by the "you have one year to get your thank you's out" saying. I'd like to agree with DearSugar on the timeline, but then I'm feeling pretty guilty about being too busy and not starting mine yet after an end of May wedding!
valancyjane valancyjane 9 years
I have to weigh in against the specially printed "Thank You" cards. They imply that this is the only thing you need stationery for, which should not be true! Get some nice stationery and then you'll be able to use the leftovers to write more notes: sympathy notes, congratulations notes, good-luck notes, you name it. Whew. I feel better having gotten that out.
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